In this day and age of social media, there’s only one rule: No photo, no talk.
So while you’re living it up, don’t forget to snap shot of everything and anything. From your piping hot meal, to that gorgeous sunset. It’s tedious to download multiple apps, only to find out they can’t do what you need them to, so we’ve shortlisted the best photo editing apps (as voted by our team)!
#1 PS Express; For Basic Editing
The mobile version of the powerful Adobe Photoshop, the PS Express is generally easy to use, and does a great job if all you need to do is fix some colours and crop some edges. Features include: Crop, straighten, rotate, flip, white and colour balance and adjustment, borders, and frames. It also comes with several free preset filters.
Road test: The raw photo (left) of our tom yum paper pot soup looked terrible. Taken at the night market Artbox in Thailand, the shot was dark, grainy, and dull. PS Express was good enough for us to remove the shadows, up the exposure, and add a splash of colour (right).
We also love that the photo quality is not compromised during saving. The standard version is free, and is quite capable on its own, but if you need more advanced tools like noise reduction and additional filters, you can purchase them in-app.
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#2 FOODIE; For Food
As its name suggests, this app was designed to take your food shots from meh to mouthwatering. It is developed by Line Corp, the ones behind the top Korean chat app of the same name.
While Brown and Cony don’t make any appearances here (boohoo, we know), the 34 preset filters are split into aptly named categories like “yum”, “picnic”, “tropical”, “chewy”, “crispy”, “romantic,” and “BBQ”. There is little room for editing specific lighting and colour components on this app.
Road test: Our poke bowl and sushi rolls were actually topped with really fresh sashimi, but our original shot (left) did no justice to it. For this edit, we used the Picnic 1 (PI1) filter, to create a warmer, more accurate and vivid portrayal of the food (right).
#3 Pitu; For Selfies
Of course you’ll be taking photos of yourself—be it selfies, wefies, or even just portraits against stunning backdrops. And after say, being on the plane of 12 hours or hiking up the mountain to catch the sunrise, you can’t always be looking your best. Here’s where Pitu comes in: This Chinese makeup app is highly raved by bloggers, and really lives up to the hype. In terms of beautifying yourself, you can do almost anything you want.
For instance, you can selfie sans makeup, and have Pitu transform you into a kawaii doll. Caught yourself in an unflattering angle? Fix it by slimming your face. Having a breakout? Edit your pimples away and even out your skin tone. To enhance your portraits, use the “Makeup” mode. For general editing of the photo, use the “Edit” mode.
Road test: For this, we worked on a stock photo (left). As you can see, the model doesn’t need much touching up, but we tweaked certain things just to test the functions. In the edited photo (right), you’ll see that we changed her hair colour, neatened up her brows, and removed her moles.
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#4 TADAA; For Scenery
Last but not least, you’ll need to edit photos of scenery! I’m sure we can all relate: Reach beautiful beach. Whip out phone for a photo. Head back to hotel. Open camera roll and realise that the photo looks nothing like the paradise you’d just been to!
There are a ton of popular semi-professional apps that many photographers recommend. These include VSCO, Snapseed, and the likes. The reason why they’re not in this list is because while powerful, they’re not the easiest for beginners (read: noobs) like us. The Tadaa app is a good balance: It’s easy to use, and can do enough so our photos can see light of day.
Road test: We took the original photo (left) on an iPhone, and somehow the colours were lacklustre, making this spring look plain and boring! Our favourite feature of Tadaa is that you can do masking—selecting specific parts of the photo, and then splitting it into another “layer”. Here, we masked the waters and trees to add colour to them, and gave it a warmer cast. (Bonus tip: If your camera doesn’t do a decent bokeh (blurred background), it can be done on Tadaa!)
Think your personal favourite app can do better? Share them with us & the rest of the community!
Disclaimer: This review is not in any way sponsored by any of the above-mentioned applications. They are our genuine and honest opinions, based on our use of the applications. The content is based on the feedback from non-photographers, so it can be useful for the general public and travellers who are just taking photos for recreational purposes.
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